I find myself quoting my own material quite a bit here lately, not because I’m trying to prove myself a prophet or some sort of self-proclaimed intellectual giant, but just to prove that if one looks at what’s actually happening in America instead of simply what one wants to see, or what is politically comfortable, the facts are clear – America is waste deep in a class war, and the poor and middle class are losing badly.
The reason that we’re losing so badly is that the corporate interests in this country are keeping us distracted by deluding us into thinking we’re still fighting the last war – race. But the fact is, corporations don’t give a damn about race. As I’ve mentioned before, in this new economy of the new world order, where corporate competitors all over the world have people working for pennies a day, corporations can’t afford the luxury of being concerned about race. All they care about is making money – and that means doing whatever they have to do to degrade the living standards of an expensive U.S. middle class.
That brings us to this latest race for the late Ted Kennedy’s seat in the senate. Even after all of the pain, mayhem, and corruption that the Republican Party has brought upon the American people over the past decade, Massachusetts, one of the most Democratic states in the union, has handed the seat of the Democratic Lion of the Senate over to a Republican, Scott Brown. Then, if that’s not bad enough, since it has a direct impact on healthcare reform (Sen. Kennedy’s lifelong passion), they’ve slapped the memory of Ted Kennedy directly in the face in the process.
The results of that election was not only horrific, but an absolute disgrace. But at the same time, it serves perfectly to demonstrate the perfection of the corporate strategy of disinformation, the electronic programming of our minds, and the undermining of the American educational system. But if liberals and progressives would stop trying to rationalize this election away and recognize it for what it is, it could serve as a blessing in disguise.
The Democrats can spin the Massachusetts loss any way they like – they can attribute it to local politics, a bad campaign, or a bad candidate. But the bottom line is, the Democrats lost the Massachusetts election because they failed to turn out their base, and the reason for that is, they haven’t given the Democratic base any reason to turn out.
Liberals have to realize that they can’t simply sit around waiting for a political Messiah – WE are the Messiah. As Benjamin Franklin pointed out, “God helps those who help themselves (No, it’s not in the Bible).” Yet, instead of remaining focused on the issues, many on the left are arguing over whether or not criticizing President Obama for failing to address a given issue might be serving to help the Republicans. Those who make that argument seem to forget that the president works for us, not the reverse, and if he wants to serve himself well, and get from point A to point B, he’d better jump onboard OUR train, since the only transportation he has is what we give him.
It’s the people’s job to remain focused on the issues that we want addressed. That’s the way it works. American politics is designed to allow the people to promote the policies that they desire. We then tell the politicians what WE want. The politician then goes on to promote his career by effectively establishing and/or addressing those policies to OUR satisfaction. When the people fail to ensure that concept is firmly established, you get a Joe Lieberman.
Sure, we want our favorite politicians to remain viable, but that’s up to them, based on how well they addresses our issues. Thus, they exist for us, not the reverse. After all, what good does any politician do us if he or she is ignoring our agenda. The Republicans understand that. That’s why they have control over their representatives – no Liebercrats over there. But the Democrats still seem to be having a problem with this concept, and that’s why they’re losing their base.
So while I greatly admire Obama, and I’m very proud to have him as our president, I never allow myself to forget that he is also an employee – and neither should any other Democrat. When America voted him into office, we voted for CHANGE; a new direction. And considering what we had previously, by definition, that meant, a progressive agenda that entailed a strict adherence to the rule of law and equal justice for all.
But the fact is – even though Obama may have saved the world from another Great Depression, which I’m sure all sane people appreciate immensely – change is not what I see. When President Obama announced that he wanted to “look forward instead of backward” with regard to addressing the issue of the hundreds of thousands of people killed and maimed by the Bush Administration and our corporatocracy, that didn’t indicate change. That shouted, “business as usual!” – and that concerns me greatly.
That was a defining moment in his presidency. It was a point where he may not have lost, but greatly alienated, a huge segment of his base – and I’m convinced that it contributed greatly to the Democratic base failing to turn out in the Massachusetts election. They’ve lost their hope for change, and along with that, that enthusiasm that brought tears to the eyes of people all over the world during the inauguration.
While the economy and healthcare reform are very important issues in the immediate political environment, those issues will be dealt with in due course. But the rule of law, and the concept that NO ONE in America is above the law, goes directly to the heart of what this country represents. That concept determines what kind of nation America is going to be – FOREVER. And history will reflect it, literally, as the 3 a.m. call of Obama’s presidency.
And the irony is, they always seem to let these criminals off the hook “for the good of the country.” If Nixon had gone to jail for Watergate, Reagan never would have committed treason by selling arms to the enemy during Iran/contra, or flooding our inner cities with drugs (which the nation is still suffering the effects of today) in order to circumvent congress’ Boland amendment. And if Reagan had been jailed for those offenses, Bush never would have lied to the American people to drag us into the lawless invasion of Iraq – which ultimately led to the death and maiming of thousands of Americans, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.
And notice how each circumvention of the law has become progressively worse, and the resulting mayhem has become progressively more egregious. In the case of the Bush administration, we’ve gotten to the point of blatant war crimes, concentration camps, torture, a Big Brother-type spying network on Americans, a total disregard for American troops, and a direct assault on the United States Constitution. Yet, President Obama says he wants to look forward and not back?
Mr. President, I like you a lot, but even a caveman would have to question your judgment on this issue. You’re a Constitutional lawyer, and surely not crazy. If we allow Bush and Cheney to get away with these horrific assaults on the American rule of law, what will the next group of scoundrels do to us? What do they have to do to us before we get the point? The Supreme Court has just outlawed democracy, and the corporations have already established a private army in Blackwater/Xe – we could literally end up having warlords in this country!
So today we suspend the rule of law to absolve Bush-Cheney, then to prosecute terrorists, then Muslims, then Black Muslims, then Black people, and then finally, poor people in general who fail to follow the “party line.”
When you assured us of “change” during your campaign this was THE major issues that brought you so much enthusiastic support. But now, considering your position on this matter, many of those very same supporters are wondering what could you possibly be thinking to make you cave-in on such an important issue as war crimes.
I don’t know what you’re hearing from your “experts” in Washington, but I’m virtually certain that if you’d been aggressively addressing the rule of law against war crimes instead of letting Cheney thumb his nose at you on Fox News every other week, we would have elected another Democratic senator from the state of Massachusetts.
And who knows, perhaps with the application of justice and accountability, you might have even made us a little safer. Perhaps, one or two potential terrorists might have thought, “Maybe the Americans aren’t ‘The Great Satans’ we thought they were.”
Eric L. Wattree
Religious bigotry: It’s not that I hate everyone who doesn’t look, think, and act like me – it’s just that God does.
Eric L. Wattree is a writer, poet, and musician, born in Los Angeles. He’s a columnist for The Los Angeles Sentinel, The Black Star News in New York, and a Staff writer for Veterans Today. He’s also the author of A Message From the Hood.